I’ve done a poor job of following SoundExchange’s decision to raise royalty rates for Internet radio streaming, but here’s a promising story of some retaliation from some webcasters and their listeners, although here’s a not-so-promising quote from the Pandora article from that link:
“If Pandora has to pay the annual $500 minimum for each channel, Hanson said, its sound-recording royalty bill for 2006 alone would be capped at about $2 billion (based on the service’s 300 million registered users, each of whom gets to create up to 100 unique channels). … Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren added, “Left unchanged, it’s over for us and every other internet radio service, period.””
From the birth of Web streaming to satellite radio to podcasting to the extended reach of WiFi, the landscape of our consumer audio future has been easier and easier to plot, but the RIAA/SoundExchange continues to throw hurdles up and to penalize the innovators working to make it possible. Sad indeed, but don’t expect those on the good side to give up the ship quite yet.